So you want to grow your own food, and you want to do it successfully. Good news is, you’re not on your own. You don’t have to learn entirely by trial and error and spend year in and year out working hard just to get mediocre results.
Because other people have done it before you!
As Bill Mollison, one of the two founders of modern permaculture (along with David Holmgren), says in Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual:
Yet today, a lot of this immensely important knowledge is being forgotten because a vast majority of the population are so disconnected from where they get their food, and from nature.
But the six individuals below are in the forefront of the movement working to change that. In fact, they’ve dedicated their lives to creating a healthier, happier world where fresh food and clean water is in abundance. There’s a lot to learn from them.
John JeavonsJohn is the director of the non‐profit Ecology Action and he has spent the last 43 years developing and teaching a truly sustainable closed-system / complete‐diet, organic food‐and‐soil production model that can be used by people in any climate and soil where food is grown.
His GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Sustainable Mini‐Farming method is being used in 143 countries around the world, and enables small farmers to increase yields, build fertile soil up to 60x faster than nature, and use 66% less water per pound of food, compared with conventional practices.
Learn from John:
- Read John’s excellent book How to Grow More Vegetables (and Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops) Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land. It’s one of my favorites.
- Watch his 9-part video series on the GROW BIOINTENSIVE gardening method. Here’s episode 1.
(Want to learn directly from John Jeavons how to grow food and create an income in your backyard? He’s holding a free online presentation between April 6th – April 12th 2015. Claim your free spot here.)
The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.
Joel Salatin is the owner of Polyface Farm, a beyond organic farm in Swoope, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. Salatin raises livestock using holistic management methods of animal husbandry, free of harmful chemicals, and have been featured in the documentary films Food, Inc. or Fresh.
Learn from Joel:
- Book: Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World
- Book: You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise
- Book: Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front
(Want to learn directly from Joel Salatin on how to work with kids so they will want to work with you? He’s holding a free online presentation between April 6th – April 12th 2015. Sign up here to claim your free spot.)
Make a better world through learning good things rather than being angry at the bad guys.
Paul is the founder of permies.com, the largest permaculture site on the internet, and runs a very popular YouTube channel where he shares everything from permaculture and gardening to rocket mass heaters and chickens.
Learn from Paul:
- Check out his YouTube channel, for example this rocket mass heater video where he interviews a couple on their rocket mass heater.
- If you like what you see on YouTube, then why don’y you pay him a visit over at permies.com!
(If you’re interested in chickens, then don’t miss Paul Wheatons free online presentation on “Comparing The 6 Ways To Keep Chickens and Which Is Best For You“. Get on the VIP list here.)
Permaculture is not the movement of sustainability and it is not the philosophy behind it; it is the problem-solving approach the movement and the philosophy can use to meet their goals and design a world in which human needs are met while enhancing the health of this miraculous planet that supports us.
Toby Hemenway has written one of the most popular books on permaculture, Gaia’s Garden, and is field director at the Permaculture Institute (USA). He also has an upcoming book on urban permaculture, The Permaculture City, that will be released in July, 2015.
Learn from Toby:
- Visit his website Pattern Literacy, where you can find free videos, articles, and information on upcoming courses and workshops.
- Read his beloved book Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture
- Secure your spot for his free online permaculture presentation next week on Permaculture Guilds: The Building Blocks For Food Forests
- If you really want to deep-dive into Toby’s fascinating mind, check out his popular presentation on Redesigning Civilization.
John KohlerJohn runs the biggest gardening channel on YouTube, called Growing Your Greens, with over 1,000 videos covering all aspects of gardening.
It’s not all about quantity though, he puts out really high quality videos in the sense that you actually learn a lot of useful stuff!
Learn from John:
- Check out his YouTube channel Growing Your Greens
- If you’re new to gardening, then a good place to start is with his series on how to start your first garden
- Watch his free online presentation next week on growing your greens. If it’s anything like his YouTube videos then it’s worth the watch for sure.
I believe we all can become beneficial stewards of the land, and partners in the ecosystem in which we live, and I believe that by harvesting water—and more—we can all begin to transform our households and neighborhoods from being consumers of resources to generators—and even regenerators—of resources.
Like the other people mentioned in this article Brad is renowned as an expert in his field. His speciality? Water harvesting.
Since 1993 he has run a successful permaculture consulting, design, and education business focused on integrated and sustainable approaches to landscape design, planning, and living.
At home he and his brother have harvested about 100,000 gallons of rainwater a year on a 1/8-acre urban lot and adjoining right-of-way. This harvested water is then turned into living air conditioners of food-bearing shade trees, abundant gardens, and a thriving landscape incorporating wildlife habitat, beauty, edible and medicinal plants.
Learn from Brad:
- Visit Brad’s website harvestingrainwater.com where you’ll find lots of great information on all sorts of water harvesting.
- Check out his book Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1: Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain into Your Life and Landscape
- Download this free guide to water harvesting and learn about Brad’s eight principles for rainwater harvesting success
- Don’t miss his free online rainwater harvesting presentation next week on 8 Steps To Welcome Rain Into Your Life and Landscape.
These Six Experts Wants To Share Their Knowledge With You – For Free
It just so happens to be that on April 6th – April 12th, i.e. next week, all of the gentlemen above, some of the biggest names in gardening, farming, and permaculture, are among 30+ experts who will be sharing their knowledge online for FREE on the Homegrown Food Summit.
Personally, I will likely skip the presentation on “How To Eat & Enjoy Insects”, fascinating as it might be.
You can watch all of their presentations for free, all you have to do is click here and reserve your spot.
See you there!